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For years my mother has gone swimming several times per week at her local pool in Ottawa. The pool is a central part of her life, but recently her once-innocuous activity became unsafe.
About two months ago, my mother finished her swim and went to the women’s change room to shower. Afterwards she wrapped herself in a towel and there, facing away from her, was a naked man. Shocked, she hurriedly got dressed. The man was over six feet tall, with a comb-over. He got dressed, turned around and, in my mother’s words, “leered” at her, then left.
Shaken, my mother rushed over to her friend, asking if she had seen “the man in the women’s change room.” The other woman nervously said yes. Both were afraid, but neither said anything to the staff.
My mother is no shrinking violet. A longtime journalist, her writing reflects her heterodox views and tenacity for challenging dominant narratives. Yet when an obvious man walked naked through her change room, she went silent.
Ten years ago, this incident would have been viewed unequivocally as a crime. The man would almost certainly have been arrested. But in this instance, not one woman in the change room dared speak up.
Until recently these women would have had the force of social norms and the law on their side, yet now they were self-silencing. Why? With four magic words—“I am a woman”—today’s political climate demands the intruder and potential predator be welcomed with open arms into the female-only spaces.
The most astounding part of this story is that no one in the change room even asked whether he identified as a man or a woman. The man could have mistakenly stumbled into the wrong change room or he simply might have wanted to undress in front of women.
After my mother told me what happened, my initial reaction was outrage and I asked her, “Why didn’t you say something?” Her answer: “What’s the point?” I was shaken. I was afraid for my mother, for myself, and for my daughter. How could I ever safely take her to any place where she would have to undress, knowing that she could be exposed to a naked man? But beyond that, I was afraid for the entire world.
There is a saying, “Where there is no God, there is absurdity.” I am a religious person and believe this statement in a literal sense, because human beings are not only physical beings but deeply spiritual ones. Religion meets the needs of our spiritual longing and frees our minds to deal with this physical world and its infinite challenges.
In the above quotation, “God” can also be interpreted to mean “objective and universal truths” immune to the whims of man. Where there is no truth, there is absurdity. Postmodernism and gender ideology have helped society cast off the “chains” of objective, universal, and verifiable truths.
I won’t attempt to address the massive tragedy of the decades of hard-fought-for women’s rights eroded within just a handful of years by the claim that “trans women are women.” Prominent women—J.K. Rowling and Riley Gaines, to name two—have taken this issue head-on.
I’m just a stay-at-home mom trying to launch each of my children into this world. But what is a world where a woman’s protected space is violated and she can’t speak up because people will turn on her and call her a bigot? Where a person cannot speak the truth about the reality before her eyes?
Increasingly, Western societies are becoming two different peoples speaking two very different languages. One camp believes in some form of objective truth and labels humans as either male or female. They acknowledge there are endless variations in the ways humans express themselves, but they are certain there are only two sexes. The concept of two sexes is ancient and fundamental to our makeup as a species.
The other camp believes in a post-modernist version of constructed truth that negates sex and biology. They have the news and entertainment media, most of academia, and more and more of the state apparatus on their side.
The two belief systems require very different laws and social norms. If there are only two sexes, the man in this story is not allowed in the women’s change room. If sex is a social construct, that man can be a woman and is therefore allowed in the women’s change room.
A society that does not have a shared language cannot share thoughts. A society that is divided on whether or not there is objective truth cannot set laws or policies that work for the broadest range of people. A society where women and girls are cowed into silence when a crime is perpetrated against them for fear of being labelled the enemy is a shaky society indeed.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.